Churchill’s Friday card has some great races. The feature is unique, a $150,000 allowance optional claiming event going 1 mile over the turf. We handicap and make horse racing picks for that race. We also make picks for the third, an $81,000 allowance, and the seventh, a $62,500 allowance optional claimer. Check out top plays and Horse Racing Odds from Churchill Downs for Friday, June 26. You can also visit our Online Racebook to place your bets on active racetracks.
Churchill Downs Horse Racing Picks
- When: Friday, June 26 at 1:00 pm ET
- Where: Louisville, KY
- Weather: Partly Cloudy
Churchill Downs Picks for Friday, June 26
Race 3 – 2:06 pm ET – 1 1/8 Miles Dirt – $81,000 Allowance
12/1 on the morning line Hombrazo fits with these. The Michael Tomlinson trained runner finished seventh in his last. However, that was at 1 mile over Gulfstream Park’s turf. Hombrazo beat $75,000 optional claimers going 1 mile and 40 yards at Tampa Bay two back. If the 3-year-old roan shows up with a similar performance on Friday, he could pull off the upset.
4-year old gelding Gigging figures to go off the chalk. Chris Hartman wins 19% of his allowance races and 15% with horses running in routes. Gigging should get a great trip under jockey Brian Hernandez Jr.
Julien Leparoux may try to steal this aboard 7/2 on the morning line Beau Luminaire. The I Want Revenge sired 4-year-old gelding finished second in its last after taking the lead from the gate. Trainer Rodolphe Brissett put a strong 3 furlong work into Beau on June 21. If nobody goes with Julien, he could guide Beau Luminaire from the gate right to the winner’s circle.
- Win: Hombrazo
- Place: Giggin
- Show: Beau Luminaire
Race 7 – 4:14 pm ET – 1 1/16 Miles Dirt – $62,500 Allowance Optional Claiming
Dinar is in decent enough form to warrant win consideration. The 4-year-old colt broke his maiden at Churchill Downs on Nov 24. He bombed badly in his first against winners, a $35,000 optional claimer at Gulfstream Park. But trainer Cherie Devaux didn’t give up on Dinar, running the Union Rags sired equine in an $81,000 allowance at Churchill on May 16. Dinar won that race by 2 ¾ lengths.
Blue Ridge Traveler could win this. The Kenny McPeek trained contender races for the first time since Nov. 28. McPeek wins just 9% with horses running off a 90 plus days layoff. The work pattern is solid, though. So, if you don’t like the top choice, consider backing this one with your win dollars.
Chess Chief takes a big drop in class from a couple of Grade 2 races. Trainer Dallas Stewart should have the Into Mischief colt ready. But horses dropping from graded races to optional claiming allowance events are often over bet to win.
- Win: Dinar
- Place: Blue Ridge Traveler
- Show: Chess Chief
Race 8 – 4:46 pm ET – 1 Mile Turf – $150,000 Allowance Optional Claiming
Trainer Steve Asmussen finally gets Snapper Sinclair back onto the grass. The BC Dirt Mile fourth place finisher has raced exclusively on dirt since 2020 started. Sinclair has 3 wins from 5 races over the sod, though. That makes the Asmussen runner a logical contender to win this.
On May 21, Mr. Dumas won a race at this distance and over this grass by half a length. There’s a chance Dumas bounces. Trainer Mike Maker usually keeps them fit, though. If Mr. Dumas repeats the May 21 performance, he should win this.
Mr. Misunderstood might go off the chalk. Trainer Brad Cox puts the saddle on. Horseplayers always over bet Brad’s runners. Can Mr. Misunderstood win? Sure, but considering the likely odds, it’s best to place this contender on the bottom of your exotics.
- Win: Snapper Sinclair
- Place: Mr. Dumas
- Show: Mr. Misunderstood